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Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,104 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,104
Reviews: 565
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 62
Gots: 72 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 01-09-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,104 | Reviews: 565 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hooliganlife
3.04/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

poured from a bottle into tulip pint. very little head that was light and frothy. very nice retention.

the smell threw me off, waaaay too much vanilla and i hate vanilla. do not care for

taste is out there. kind of reminds of the oak flavor from an oaked arrogant bastard but with tons of vanilla. slight IPA flavor hidden in the background. i find the oak flavor too dominant. i also find it a smidge too sweet. if this were more balanced with bigger hop flavor, it could be far better.

carbonation was near perfect. very full bodied and smooth.

i am not feeling this at all. a one time thing and thats it. i applaud ST for their effort as i like seeing new varieties of IPAs coming out.

Photo of claspada
3.05/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The aromas are loaded with dank hop earthiness and woodiness from the oak aging. Defintely also some Citrus/pine and the alcohol notes finish out the smells.

The tastes are good, with apple brandy-like alcohol that is hot on the tongue right off the bat, but this one is too syprupy for me. I just can't enjoy a beer that tastes this thick. Cloyingly sweet in my opinion. Carbonation is undetectable and the body is too thick to enjoy the hop profile; sugary body sticks to the tongue. I'm also having a hard time enjoying the wood aging because of the extreme cloyingness of this one. ABV isn't tasted but understood because of the thickness in malt.

Overall, this one just doesn't come together for me. The oak is there, but not in a good way, and the thickness/syrup qualities, detract from the hops.

Photo of Florida9
3.05/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Thin copper in color. About and inch or so of nice foamy head which dissipates relatively quickly, but does leave some lacing in the process.

S: Malt, piney hops, maybe a little bit of citrus, followed by boozy smell of bourbon.

T: oh god, what is this? Liquified wood? Sure there are some malts and hops there, but they appear to have been beaten into submission by the unique flavor of furniture. please, someone give me a chaser.

M: Full bodied. Syrupy and medicinal. There was decent carbonation when I first popped the bottle, but the CO2 appears to have made a run for it as soon as the opportunity presented itself. Leaves a funky sawdust residue on the tongue.

D: No. Never again. My 22oz bomber was way too much. The only reason I'm even giving it a couple points here is because the folks at ST decided to put a lot of alcohol in this beer.

Photo of alcstradamus
3.06/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Nice amber pour with a little over a finger of head that leaves a small amount of lacing. Smell has a good amount of caramel maltiness and wood notes, almost overpowering the hop character underneath which has banana/flower/crayon wax qualities.

The taste is somewhat odd, almost barleywine-esque but a little too light for that distinction. As a DIPA I think this fails, as an Oak Aged DIPA it fails, and as an American Barleywine it is OK. An alcohol solvent taste overshadows what is underneath, and truthfully I believe that the regular Unearthly is a subpar DIPA so aging it in barrels can only do so much. This definitely is better, but I would hardly call it "good"

Medium bodied, this one just doesn't satisfy my palate at all really. It would be fine in 2 oz. samples but as far as being able to sit back and have a pint and enjoy it, I just don't get that kind of pleasure out of this.

Photo of chilly460
3.07/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - pours cloudy amber with a very fluffy head of tight bubbles. Good detention, not much lacing
S- a lot going on here. Fruity hops are followed by bigtime vanilla from the oak, and some banana. Heavy caramel malt background

T - well, I guess I don't like oak aged ipas. Initial hops hit is nice, but then the sweet vanilla and wood comes in leaving a bad aftertaste for me.

M - great chewy body with low to medium coronation...nice

D - hoppy sweet combo just killed it for me, also why I don't get along with barleywines. Probably a fine beer for the type, just not for me.

Photo of patrickcmcd
3.07/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I asked a friend to purchase me an IPA bomber. He came back with this. Friend is now best friend. JUST KIDDING. Anyway, i wasn't expecting a DIPA so i let this thing rattle around in my car for about a week.

After a long jog, decided to forgo water and crack this thing open instead. Poured nicely, sorta a caramel/grapefruit color. No head, which left me scratching MY head. I guess "balance" is what Southern Tier was going for.

It literally smelled like a hot candied apple. Sweet, mostly. Malts (OAK?) at the forefront. Hops in the back. Wish it tickled my nose more. I prefer the floral scent.

The taste was pleasant but syrupy. Balanced and consistent from the front of my tongue to the rear. You can tell its oak aged at the very "end". Gives it a cedar taste, not oak. The alcohol taste was disappointing but at 11% I know what I'm getting into.

For the DIPA style, it was solid. Craving an DIPA and don't already have a favorite? Don't be afraid to pluck this from the shelf. If you haven't dabbled in the genre, its a decent gateway. Would have preferred more HOPS and less oak, though.

Photo of Jesse13713
3.11/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Ray's Place in Kent, OH.

Appearance - A sugary cream-like foam rests on top of this earth-toned beer. The beer itself is earthy brown and caramely tan and yellow. It has quite a solid and impressive lacing to the glass.

Smell - Malts and caramel notes overwhelm my nostrils here. The hops are present but hiding in the shadows.

Taste - Much sweeter than I expected it to be. Quite a heavy bourbon note that masks the hops. The bitters come on the finish. Many floral and earthy notes become more noticeable as I continue drinking.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - While drinkable, it is a little too sweet in a fruity way. It almost tasted like it had porter-like characteristics to me. Fairly light bodied.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.11/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A solid pour into my New Belgium globe glass produces a fat-three-finger thick, nicely tan looking head. The beer is a concentrated amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, copper-amber color when held up to the light. Up front the beer smells of pungent hops with notes of pine, herbaceous hemp oil (with a certain dankness to it), candied citrus fruit (grapefruit, tangelo and bergamot) as well as some bright tropical fruit notes that remind me of lychee, kumquat and a sort of floral, super-peach note. The oak integrates very well with the hop character; it naturally accentuates the herbal notes with a spicy, buttery, woody oak aroma. As the beer warms the alcohol becomes a touch hot.

The beer feels a touch lighter than I was expecting from the viscous looking pour, but it is still fairly full bodied. The hop flavor is a bit reduced from what one would expect from the expressive aroma. The oak character might actually be a little more present, or at least more on par with the hop flavors. The oak and green hops combine to contribute a sort of raw, menthol-like, spicy, dank-buttery-almost-cheesy herbaceous quality that is the dominant note here. Supporting flavors of ruby-red-grapefruit, tangelo and lychee are noticeable in the middle, while the finish has a pronounced green, peppery note that lingers on the palate for quite some time. Speaking of the finish there is an oak derived astringency that couples with the hop-bitterness, as well as the previously mentioned peppery note, to produce an almost harsh finish to this beer. The malt character plays a definite supporting role, but is a bit too crystal malt focused with some intrusive hints of sweet-tea and caramelized, toasted grain that clashes with the hop / oak combination instead of smoothing them out. The sharp / harsh finish is exacerbated as it warms by a hot-alcohol presence.

An interesting beer, despite really being in the mood for something hoppy, this didn't really quite work for me. The oak provides a certain astringency, as well as accentuating a bit more of the herbaceous hop qualities that I would prefer. This is certainly not a bad beer though, and I can see some really enjoying it, but it really just isn't quite for me. My final assessment is that the oak and hops combine to create a flavor that reminds me of raw, herbaceous, citrus infused, dank, slightly ripe cheese and menthol, crystal malt laden tea.

Photo of brushtachio
3.16/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Wow. I'm really surprised by this ale. I love regular Unearthly but this version seems forced. The oak aging dilutes the hoppy goodness, replaces it with a woody, vanilla, oak profile. In the process, the whole beer suffers.

Nose bears very little resemblance to a IIPA. Instead of hops there is wood, vanilla, pepper, cinnamon. All of these elements carry over to the taste along with the expected Unearthly sweetness. But with the diminished hops, it ends up being a little one sided. I wonder if this beer is suffering (ratingwise) because I am judging it to style or comparing it mentally to the regular Unearthly. If I approached it as a hopped up Barlywine a la SN Bigfoot, would I appreciate it more?

Photo of SFLpunk
3.17/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz brown glass pry-top. No date.

Appearance: Pours a very clear, pale amber with yellow tones (looks like a light ale/darker lager). Thick sudsy white head that stays for a long while.

Nose: Hops - vanilla - hops - vanilla - hops - etc. It smells like my local homebrew supply store. Lots of white chocolate, lemon, white cake batter, a little musty note. Smells thick and sweet.

Palate: Immensely sweet up-front with vanilla and cake batter dominating the flavors. Some bitter orange/grapefruit sneak in towards the middle and the hops claw their way back and try to stop the beer from being sweet, but alas. Body is medium to light.

Notes: Can't really get behind this offering. The oak seems to only mute the hop flavors while adding some really unpleasantly sweet notes. I keep coming back to white cake batter, and that's not really a flavor I like in my IPA's. Maybe in a wheat beer, or an old ale, but it's off-putting here. Going to stick with the regular Un*Earthly for now.

Photo of warnerry
3.19/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 3/1/12, poured into a tulip

A - Pours a beautiful clear copper with one and a half fingers of tan head. Head doesn't last that long. Only small spots of lacing left behind.

S - Oak is very prominent in the aroma. Otherwise big sweet malty aroma with some piney hops.

T - Initially sticky sweet (seems to be a common theme with Southern Tier) and malt heavy. Eventually, some hop bitterness comes through and the oak really starts to ramp up. The bitterness is no match for the sweetness. There seems to be some IPAs that have a smell/taste that reminds me of bolonga, and this is one of them (granted, I've been vegetarian for almost 20 years, but I ate a lot of the stuff as a kid, so take that with a grain of salt). Not necessarily good or bad, but a bit distracting. Stays sweet throughout. The hops and oak are no match for the sweetness. Decent, but not really what I look for in a DIPA.

M - Full, sticky sweet mouthfeel with some bitterness on the finish.

O - Can't help but wonder how I would review this if were listed as an American Strong Ale. As a DIPA, it is too thick and sweet, with a less than assertive hop presence. Doesn't taste too bad though.

Photo of loren01
3.2/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured into my Deschutes snifter a hazy orange color, decent sized head but not much lace down the glass
S: Slight spicy scent, caramel malt scent in there as well...also definate alcohol smell
T: Astringent hoppiness, alcohol and oak flavors
M: Full bodied beer, sticky and warming
D: Too thick any syrupy for my taste. This isnt a very drinkable beer.

Photo of nitro0292
3.21/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber, no freshness date. Tried to drink @ slightly chilled temp, then chilled to brewer recommended temp.

A - poured a hazy amber. Almost two finger head with solid retention and good lacing.

S - Overwhelming malty and bready, few citrusy hops but not enough to balance the malt sweetness.

T - Enough hops to balance the malts, but thats it - very strong malty backbone - clearly a DIPA here, much closer to DFH 120 than DFH 90 as I was hoping, but @ 11%ABV it is a fair expectation. Hop heads would prefer a stronger hop presence to add more power to the hop profile.

M - Full, think mouthfeel, not quite syrupy, but close. A bit too much for me.

D - HAD to drink cold, @ more than recommended temp was simply to thick. Had to put in freezer (even the glass) after opening to finish. Much more drinkable @ a colder temp.

I don't know if I would buy this again, even given the ABV (more in Barleywine territory) I thought it was a bit over the top malty. I have seen other reviews that say it is very hoppy, so maybe my bottle is old? I would prefer a Monster Ale if looking for an alcohol hop bomb or a Rouchefort 10 if I wanted a meal.

I am a huge fan of Southern Tier, but I would much prefer a Victory Hop Wallop or even a DFH 90 minute. In the case of the former, it has a much thinner mouthfeel, and as a result a stronger hop flavor. The DFH 90 is more along the lines of this brew, but with a little stronger hop profile.

Fairly sure this is an old bottle. Will give it another chance and review again.

Photo of JedediahK
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of CrummyLuke
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of Treb0R
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of dbert21
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of gunclubchris
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of ms11781
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of mattmarka1
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of Rice_Nate_25
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of tomwilliams134
3.26/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured froma 22 oz bomber to a fluted tulip glass. Smells like oak barrels, similar in smell to White Oak Jai Alai.

The oak definitely dominates the beer. It over shadows the hops, but there is still plenty of malt backbone. Solid body, with just the right amount of carbonation. Not as hot as I expected at 9.5 ABV. I expected more hops in an IIPA. Good, but not my favorite from ST. I'm glad I tried it, but I won't drink it again.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.28/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

EBF 2011 leftovers. No bottling date. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into Lost Abbey stemware.

A: Standard pour yields a 1 finger frothy, substantial off-white head with moderate retention. Beer is a clear dark orange. Lacing is spotty and sparse with little cling. An attractive beer.

S: Nose is sweet citrus hops, tangerine, and peach. Also a bit of cane sugar and vanilla. Aromatic and appetizing but just a tad too sweet for my liking and for the style.

T: Opens sweet citrus, vanilla, and cane sugar. Peach and tangerine in the middle with a very muted, hop bitterness lingering in the background. This is most assuredly the anti-hop bomb. Very sweet overall. Finish is more cane sugar and sweet tropical fruit. Aftertaste is citrus and even more sugar.

M: Light to medium bodied with low carbonation. Smooth and watery in the mouth. Goes down easy with just a slight tingling of bubbles at the end. Finish is messy with a lingering aftertaste. A bit too flat for its style in my opinion.

D: This is a good beer. However, true to Southern Tier style, I think its very polarizing. Hopheads will hate it as its very sweet for an IPA. In addition, personally, I don't want my IPAs to be oak aged. The vanilla and barrel subtleties just don't work with the style. Definitely worth a try as you could be absolutely blown away by it, but go in with said expectations.

Photo of quasimoto
3.28/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Woody oak and musty horse blanket are very prominent in the nose. Green grassy hops, pine aromas and some what citrus round out the back end. The oak is really making the aroma much more of an age issue. The hops transfer to the flavor along with the horse blanket. Sweet bread like malts, and Golden graham cereal are the flavors I get. The mouth feel is rather smooth and not overly carbonated. dates and the golden graham cereal finish off the palette an dleave a sticky dryness...if you can understand that.

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a perfect pint.

A- pours a very carbonated light orange, darker near the top, with a one finger white head. Not much lacing

S- mild, shockingly for a Southern Tier beer...getting some light piney and citrus hops.

T- getting a lot of the oak....some sweetness, possibly vanilla...citrus hops...a slight bite of pine near the end. Its really...mild. Bomber might have some age on it. Disappointing

M- feel is fine. Maybe a little too sweet

D- again...its fine. Just kinda there. If only I knew how fresh this was

Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,104 ratings.